Fix The Mac Wifi No Hardware Installed? 5 Things to Do


Most Macs since the mid-2000s consist of a module, WiFi card, or a chip which is a component of the motherboard. Some macOS users reported that they noticed a message that says “WiFi: No hardware installed” in the system WiFi menu.

They also see a message ‘WiFi: Not configured’ when there are no modifications. The hardware problem is the main cause for the no WiFi hardware installed on MacBook error. Let’s find out how to troubleshoot this issue.

Fix the Mac Wifi No Hardware Installed Configured Error

Sometimes corrupted or disrupted network settings can disable the WiFi connectivity. But, it can be solved via the Network preferences pane. To identify if this is the problem, navigate to the System Preferences and then click Network.

Choose the WiFi adapter on the left. When you do that, it’ll turn gray and be labeled as Inactive beneath it. Choose Make Service Active from the gear menu and then tap on the Apply option. If the problem is storage-related, refer to this blog post for resolution.

Reset NVRAM on Macs

Resetting the NVRAM is extremely helpful no matter which Mac is showing this issue in the wireless menu. This solution works on all macOS versions and models. For this, reboot the Mac and simultaneously press the Command + Option + P + R keys.

Keep on holding all these keys until you get the sound of the Mac rebooting again. After booting, pull down the WiFi menu again and see if it resolves the issue. Restart your Mac and see if the error disappears.

Reset SMC on MacBook With Batteries

Try reseting SMC to solve the problem. This process is slightly different on each Mac. If you have the latest MacBook model with a non-removable battery, then first shut down the Mac. Pair your MacBook with the MagSafe power cable and an outlet.

Now, press the Shift + Control + Option + Power buttons simultaneously for several seconds (approximately 5 seconds). Release them together, and then boot your system. This may fix the error, and you might be able to use your laptop normally.

Reset SMC on Other MacBook Models

For previous MacBook models with removable batteries, shut down your system and remove the battery. Disconnect the power cable and keep pressing the Power button for about 5 seconds. Put the battery on and boot your Mac.

The same process is followed if you’re using an iMac, Mac Pro, or Mac Mini. It includes shutting down your system, disconnecting the power cable, holding and releasing the Power button, re-attaching the cable, and booting.

Identify Hardware Breakdown

You will see a message “WiFi: No hardware installed,” in the WiFi dropdown menu when there is a hardware breakdown. To quickly fix this error, you can run the Apple Diagnostics check and then restart your Mac. Another thing you can do is to start your Mac in safe mode.

Or, remove the WiFi network entry and restore it. If none of these methods solves the problems, you can clear the hardware state or create a new user in macOS. Sometimes, reinstalling macOS also works.

What to Do If Error Persists?

If you don’t get any solution using any of the above methods, then the problem is in the physical hardware. If you are still seeing this error message in the dropdown menu, it means the failure of the network.

It could also mean that the network has disconnected and/or doesn’t exist. A third-party external WiFi NIC model may require several drivers. It could be dealing with some sort of damage. Contact the Apple support team for the best solution.

Erase and Install OS X

Restart your system and hold the Command + R keys until you get the Apple logo. In the Utility Menu, select Disk Utility and tap Continue. Then, select the drive from the Device list and tap on the Erase icon.

In the dropdown list, choose the APFS or Mac OS Extended format type. Now, hit the Apple button and then click on the Done button when it appears. Quit Disk Utility and come again to the Utility menu. Choose Reinstall OS X and tap Continue.

Go for Hardware WiFi Replacement

This way is recommended if you are using a Mac running macOS 10.15 Catalina or earlier versions. You can opt for buying an inexpensive third-party WiFi USB dongle. For example, Edimax AC1200 features drivers offered by the maker of OS X and macOS through Sierra.

If you’re using the latest version, a full-sized dock with gigabit Ethernet can connect with a wireless bridge. This is useful when you can’t plug in through Ethernet directly.

The Conclusion

Some macOS users experience no WiFi hardware installed on MacBook issues in the WiFi dropdown menu. It may affect the WiFi connection badly. There is no certain reason for this error message.

The error may appear immediately after rebooting the Mac, waking a system from sleep mode, or after installing any latest software update. Thankfully, this is a really simple and quick fix with the above-mentioned methods. But, first, check the cause.

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